Contacts: Chan Kam On, Owner of Hing Lee Camera (Hong Kong, China)
In Hong Kong, a hyper-neon billboard of a city, it’s not at all unusual for a retail store to have 4 or more signs right out front, most of which will light up and blink at night. At Hing Lee Camera, a small but highly-merchandised digital imaging venue in the port city’s trendy “Soho” neighborhood, owner Chan Kam On has put up just two equally-sized signs side-by-side, one announcing he’s an authorized Nikon-seller; the other, a notice he’s got Canon too.
Being an authorized Canon and Nikon dealer in gray-market paradise is a reputable claim, but Chan Kam On has spend decades earning that rep. He started his camera shop 30 years ago with the financial backing of his family. “Once you start, you stay with it. That’s how it is,” says Chan Kam On of his retail longevity.
Hundreds of locals and tourists step into Hing Lee Camera each day. Because Hong Kong is such a popular business and tourist destination, shoppers from a variety of cultural backgrounds will try to barter with Chan Kam On. He stays firm on price points for his used and new camera equipment, though his sales staff will throw in a one or two-gig memory card sometimes to close a sale.